Robert F. Phillips, P.E,
Public Sanitary Sewer vs. Private Sanitary Sewer responsibility
The Public Sanitary Sewer System is made of nearly 760 miles of gravity pipe connected by 20,000 sanitary access structures and is supported by 29 pumping stations. The City of Madison Engineering Division is responsible for operating and maintaining this system to safely convey 23.6 million gallons of raw sewage per day from Madison homes and businesses to the Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant. Maintaining this system in good operating conditions is essential to the health of our citizens and environment.
Homeowners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the private sanitary sewer service line. The private sewer service extends from within the home to the point where it connects to the public sanitary sewer main.
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Homeowners can do easy things every day to take care of the private pipes they are responsible for, and backups can be avoided.
Unplugging or cleaning sediment from your building sewer every 1-3 years is not unusual. However, if a homeowner has to have the building sewer cleaned more often than annually, he or she should contact the City of Engineering Division to find out if a bigger problem is causing the blockages.